Sunday, February 10, 2008

On certain issues of life

On a Saturday, as part of a project to connect frontier research science with high school children, undergrads, like me would go out to high school's and attempt to show high school kids how much fun science has the potential to be by teaching them how to do transformation with florescent genes from jelly fish.

Anyways, before we left, we were warned the whole shebang about how these high school children are all from a lower income district and who firmly believe that college education is an ivory tower in which they can only gaze upon and never be able to enter. As college undergrads, we are suppose to be the myth breakers and show them college is doable, and figuratively speaking break down the ivory tower facade whilst teaching them transformation. Talk about multi-tasking.

I had a total of four kids in my group—two boys and two girls. The boys were two years younger than the girls, slightly apprehensive and had innocence marked on their faces. Though their conversations were laced with girls, friends doing drugs and sex, it seemed like they were testing the waters and the meaning of said words on the tip of their tongues. The girls on the other hand were slightly more jaded, faces freckled with acne scars, and hair vibrantly streaked with a variety of colors. They appeared rebellious and seemed like they definitely had a problem with authority.

During the process in which I was attempting to explain transformation, the girl with pink hair streaks holding a LB plate interrupted me and said “is this smell bad for a person who is pregnant? Like…will it harm a baby?”

I was totally caught off guard, but replied mystified nonetheless: “No, the stuff you are holding is basically meat broth-like cubes that are mixed in with seaweed, so it isn’t harmful in any way.”

“Oh, okay” she said.

My partner was more candid and tactless and instantly asked “Why? Why are you asking? Are YOU pregnant?”

To which the girl replied “No, Why? YOU have a problem?”

*tension forms*

“ANYWAYS, for transformation, I will need help in carrying out this experiment, anyone have any questions?” I said while grinning a little too broadly.

The rest of the protocol continued as if nothing happened. However it was until break time and we were sitting around the desks (away from the bacteria and post hand wash of course) eating blueberry muffins that the other girl who wasn't asking any questions held a blueberry from the muffin and asked me "Will eating blueberries harm a baby?".

"No" I said with as much as a smile I could muster and silently prayed that she wouldn't ask me anymore questions. Lucky for me, she didn't and quietly finished her blueberry along with the rest of her muffin.

Now I had two theories 1) the girls were absolutely messing with my head and wanted to jerk me around or 2) One of those girls were really pregnant and was trying their best to subtly get information from me that they would have otherwise hard getting.

If it really was the first theory, then fine, they are teenagers, whatever. However if it is the second theory, then I am completely heartbroken. Why? Because I was not ready for them to ask me those questions and I had no experience in dealing with situations like this. In a sense I had failed them. Granted it was not exactly my responsibility, but somehow, just by me simply being present in those 2 hours of their life, I some how felt like I should of done something. What exactly? I don't know.

Life is completely filled with uncertainties and there is no one but ourselves to help ourselves out. I just hope I did learn something from this experience event though I don't know what, and that some where down the future, when I encounter another situation that is similar I will be able to use the tools I have acquired.

1 comment:

Angie said...

i really hope that your friend theory is the correct one :/


This site's main theme more so stems from "Grace Kelly" by Mika. There is absolutely no association with Grace Kelly the actress. I only wish I could have 1/2 the grace she possesses on screen. *sighs*